June 3, 2011 (Suzy Chaffe)
Following Bolivia’s passage of their domestic law “Recognizing Mother Earth as a living entity and giving Her the Same Rights as Humans,” the United Nations held a dialogue via an interactive webcast on its “Harmony with Nature” Day, April 20, and it is now working on adopting these rights worldwide.
Thanks to this surprising mindshift by UN leaders and participants, the day also ended in an emergency call to action where the Indigenous, kids, renewable energy, and teamwork play key roles to veer us off our current path toward extinction. Fortunately the UN is not alone. [Click For video of the UN Dialogue on Harmony with Nature]
“WE NEED TO PROTECT THE HABITAT THAT SUSTAINS US” – Pope Benedict XV1
Pope Benedict’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences came to the same conclusion in May, not just for their 1.8 billion Catholics. But as a result of alarming new evidence found by his 80 international scientists of diverse faiths, that global warming is increasing much faster than expected and in some areas gone over the tipping point, the German Pontiff made this bold “call to action for all people in all nations:”
“If we as inhabitants want to ensure our rights to daily bread, fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink, and want justice and peace, we need to protect the habitat that sustains us,” said the German Pontiff. Now called the “Green Pope” for also switching to solar energy at the Vatican, he urged everyone to help reduce the cause of climate change.” (www.kpbs.org/news/2011/may/10/catholic-church-goes-green-counter-global-warming/ ).
… leaders have been inspired by Indigenous Peoples. For example in 2008, RobertJohn Knapp, a Seneca Elder-scholar, was joined by representatives of six European countries singing and blessing the streams, much like St Francis, as they followed them to their Rome meeting with Pope Benedict. At the end of the exchange Knapp presented the Pontiff with a staff and requested he ask all the religions to help clean up our waters. Shortly thereafter, the Pontiff declared, “It is a sin to poison the water,” as it is suicidal. Also why Popes John Paul 11 and Benedict have urged farmers to follow Nature’s Laws and say “No” to suicidal GMO seeds.
MOTHER EARTH’S RIGHTS
The Pontiff was likely further empowered by the UN taking seriously the Bolivian Law giving our “beloved” Mother Earth Rights, enacted in January by their Indigenous President Evo Morales. The Vancouver Sun reported that “the law recognizes a country’s natural resources as ‘blessings.’ And to grant Earth the rights to life, water, clean air, and to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.”
Ecuador’s Constitution of 2008 states that nature’s rights should be taken into account in all planning activities, including the maintenance, regeneration, and restoration of its cycles, structures, functions and evolutionary processes. [Ecuador Adopts Rights of Nature in Constitution]
Nobel Laureates Eric Chivian, Muhammad Yunus, and Joseph Stiglitz agree that “Human beings are an inseparable part of Mother Earth, and life depends on uninterrupted functioning of Her cycles.”
Together the UN participants painted a holistic picture of a “new world resplendent with life” and urged a shift from an economic system that regards nature as a commodity that we have the right to exploit, to a paradigm that respects Mother Earth’s rights and intrinsic value. Instead of the GNP as the measure of progress, they proposed measuring the “quality of life, well being, and the Gross National Happiness,” pioneered by Ecuador, France and Bhutan.
Humanity is at a crossroads: Why should we only respect the laws of human beings and not those of nature? Why do we call the person who kills his neighbor a criminal, but not he who extinguishes a species or contaminates a river or a system as a whole, if all of us, absolutely all of us, rely on the life of the Earth System? asked Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s Ambassador to the UN.
Hail to the participants who included some of Earth’s deepest thinkers from the member states and renowned authors on the panel: Vandana Shiva (India), Peter Brown (Canada), Cormac Cullinan (South Africa), Riane Eisler (United States), Paul-Bertrand Barets (France), Gilberto Gallopin (Argentina), Ivo Havinga (UN) Mathis Wackernagel (Switzerland). Besides the Bolivians, there was a representative of the UN’s Indigenous Peoples Partnership, as a preview of Native Elders further helping light the way for humanity at RIO-20 next June, which was part of the 2012 prophesy.
REPAIRING OUR GREATEST THREAT TO NATIONAL AND GLOBAL SECURITY
Don’t we need a combination of Earth Rights and Keynesian economics, where governments create full employment, which got America out of the First Depression? It addressed people’s needs, not wants, and spread the wealth more fairly. A green job mobilization could repair our National, and in unity, our Global Security.
Globally, Venezuela, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda were also leaders in supporting the “Mother Earth Rights” initiative, some having similar Nature-protecting laws. Hail to these Latin Nations and the orchestrators of Harmony with Nature Day: UN’s Bolivian Mission, the UN Division of Sustainable Development and the UN Office of the President of the General Assembly. Together they showed humanity what living in harmony with Mother Earth looks like, so She can keep us around!
The acting President of the UN General Assembly, Botswana Ambassador Charles Ntwaagae said, “We must all recognize that we are part of nature and simply living to fulfill our desires at Nature’s expense is not sustainable.”
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Asha-Rose Migiro said, “There is much we can learn from the wisdom and philosophy of indigenous peoples”…”A holistic view of environmental, social and economic well-being is indeed the only route to truly sustainable development”.